Newark, NJ- In the backdrop of an electronic bulletin calling for the public’s help in catching the person responsible for one of the latest homicides in the city of Newark is the South Ward Boys and Girls Club. It is now closed, but as a child Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries remembered it as a place of promise during one of his darkest days, following the murder of his mother when he was only 10 years old.
“When I walked into those doors, I walked into a place of love. I walked into a place of hope and opportunity where people were pushing us into a possibility and now to see that same place is where lives are being snuffed out or potentials are being destroyed, its amazingly powerful for me and for me a reflection of how far the city has fallen”said Jeffries.
Ras Baraka, another candidate for mayor, feels the same. Baraka organized a rally on the steps of city hall and brought the community together to do something about the rash of brutal violence.
There have been 10 murders in 10 days in the city and according to police, there is not a single connection between any of the crimes. The latest murder victim was a 14 year old boy. Heartbreaking in itself, but police say upon a search of the young boy’s bedroom detectives recovered a large amount of heroin and a gun.
Meanwhile Mayor Cory Booker called the uptick in murders unacceptable. In response to critics who said Booker was too preoccupied with the U.S. Senate race to concentrate on the city he runs, Police Director Samual DeMaio defended Booker.
“I work with the mayor hand in hand every day and throughout this election, during the U.S. Senate he hasn’t missed a beat. Actually, over these last 10 days there has been an upbeat in our conversations and our meetings,” said DeMaio.
In response to the violence, the city plans to increase patrols and add officers to the streets in some of the most troubled neighborhoods.